COLUMBIA, Mo. - Mizzou Softball's season comes to an end after falling to James Madison by a score of 7-2 in the final game of the Columbia Super Regional.
The Tigers were able to jump on the board first in the contest. Jordan Weber retired the side in order in the first and Brooke Wilmes led off the bottom half with a solo home run to right field, her third leadoff blast of the season. Mizzou was able to get a pair of runners on a single and a walk, but they were stranded.
In the second, each team got a runner on base, but both pitchers were able to produce zeroes.
James Madison prevented Weber from taking a no-hitter deep into the game with a one-out single in the third. Weber was able to come back and get the next two batters to end the threat.
Mizzou gained another opportunity to add to their lead in the bottom half of the third. Jenna Laird led off the inning with a walk and then stole second with one out. With two outs in the inning, Kimberly Wert drew a walk to put a pair of runners on base. The Tigers were unable to push the run across, leaving a runner in scoring position.
JMU put a run on the board in the top of the fourth to tie it up. After a strikeout, Newton knocked a single up the middle that was followed by a throwing error to put runners on the corners. After Naujokas stole second, a sacrifice fly brought in the tying run. The Tigers were unable to answer and went down in order in the bottom half.
The Dukes took control of the game in the fifth. A leadoff single and a sacrifice bunt put a runner in scoring position. After a strikeout, the next batter singled to center on an 0-2 pitch and was able to move over to third on a throwing error. An infield single brought in another run, before the Tigers were able to get out of the inning. Mizzou trailed 3-1 after the top of the fifth.
Freshman shortstop Jenna Laird was quick to answer. She drove a 1-0 pitch over the left center wall for her eighth homer of the season while cutting the lead in half.
Mizzou ran into trouble in the sixth. A leadoff walk put a runner on, but a sacrifice bunt attempt turned into a fielder's choice at second. A single into right and an error put runners on second and third with only one out. Back-to-back groundouts at third kept the game at 3-2.
The Tigers did not get the bats going in the bottom of the sixth, only drawing a walk with two outs before the side was retired.
James Madison was able to put the game nearly out of reach in the top of the seventh. Three-straight singles scored the first run of the inning and put runners on first and third. The next batter hit a sharp ground ball to short and the throw home appeared to be in time with the tag, but the runner was called safe. Another pair of singles brought home another run, followed by a fielder's choice that also scored one, making it 7-2. A double play from Kendyll Bailey ended the JMU threat. She dove for a bloop hit, but she was unable to come up with it before getting the force at second and then throwing over to third base to catch the runner.
Ultimately, the Tigers were not able to come back. Laird drew a walk with two outs, but Mizzou could not muster a rally to extend the season.
Brooke Wilmes launched her fifth home run of the NCAA Tournament.
Jenna Laird smashed her eighth home run of the season while drawing a pair of walks and stealing a base.
Jordan Weber took the loss, but only allowed one earned run through four innings of work. She added four strikeouts in the contest.
Hatti Moore finishes her career ninth in program history with 34 home runs. She made 145 consecutive starts at catcher to close out her career.
Moore and Wert's 17 home runs are tied for third in Mizzou history for a single season. 34 home runs are the second most by two teammates in program history.
Cayla Kessinger will finish eighth on the Mizzou home run list with 36.
Both Moore and Kessinger will finish their careers with over 100 RBI.
Brooke Wilmes' 79 hits during the 2021 season are tied for fifth in Mizzou Softball history for a single season. Her 55 runs scored are also tied for ninth in program history.
Jenna Laird finishes her freshman season with 23 extra-base hits while going 12-for-12 on stolen base attempts.
Abby George now holds the third best single season batting average, finishing the year with a .432 mark.
Wilmes closes the year on a 10-game hitting streak.